Employers like employees that possess a rare set of skills. Job applicants, who possess the ability to think outside the box, bring fresh ideas to the table, have exceptional execution skills or demonstrate a breadth of unique knowledge can be highly interesting in the modern workplace.
However, these qualities are hard to find or detect during interviews and the hiring process. Rather, they are rare in hundreds of applicants who apply for any desirable job in the market!
But there are a few essential skills that employers constantly look for in any job applicant. These skills are critical for your success in pretty much any job that you will take up. Plus, they are comparatively easy to detect and verify.
If you are able to demonstrate them through your resume and during interviews, you are set to open interesting job opportunities for yourself. Without them, one may remain overlooked and anonymous in a sea of applicants.
While different employers will value a different set of these skills, every employer essentially wants to see a combination of them in you. So, let’s dive into this list of the top 22 skills that employers look for in potential employees.
Which Skills in Employees Are Most Important to the Employers?
The job market of today can be a treacherous realm. To stay ahead of the competition, having certain skills is essential. Many jobs require excellent communication and problem-solving abilities, not to mention interpersonal skills and the capacity to handle various tasks simultaneously.
Mastering these capabilities is key, for it is how individuals will make their way in the world. Learning how to express oneself clearly and competently is truly invaluable, as many positions put one face-to-face with colleagues or clients.
Developing creative problem-solving strategies while exhibiting flexibility and resourcefulness will help secure success within any role. With the right set of skills in tow, any journeyman can easily traverse the fierce landscape of business.
Also, employers are often faced with the question of which skill set is most important to consider when choosing a candidate: Soft skills or hard skills.
Both sets of skills are essential for success in the workplace, and each has distinct values and benefits that employers must consider.
Soft skills encompass social, communication, and emotional abilities and people-oriented competencies that are difficult to teach and measure.
On the other hand, hard skills tend to be easier to obtain through formal education and training and typically consist of job-specific abilities such as technical, computer or language proficiency that can more easily be measured.
In order to choose the best candidate for any job position, employers must assess both the soft and hard skills of applicants to make an informed decision.
Top 22 Skills in Employees that Employers Look For
Here are the list of top soft skills and hard skills employers are looking for:
Top 11 Soft Skills in Employees that are Attractive to Employers
Communication skills are the ability to speak, listen, and write in a way that effectively communicates your message to others. This also includes non-verbal communication, such as body language. Employers value employees who can communicate clearly and concisely, both in writing and in person.
It is important to choose the most appropriate communication method when engaging in business communication. For instance, it may be more effective in certain work-based situations to have a physical or virtual meeting with a potential employer rather than sending a formal email.
Meanwhile, emails are ideal for simpler matters such as scheduling meetings or less formal inquiries. Understanding which form of communication best suits various scenarios will help ensure thoughtful interactions that meet the desired outcome.
Teamwork skills are the ability to work well with others in a group or team setting. This includes cooperating with others, compromising when necessary, and taking on different roles within a team.
Teamwork is an incredibly important part of the success of any team or organization; for example, a student-led youth group might only be successful with collaboration and cooperation among different members of the group.
Even something as small as coordinating tasks or deciding how to collaborate on a project can result in great rewards, such as increased productivity, improved morale, and increased job satisfaction. Employers value employees who can work well with others and contribute to a positive team dynamic.
Problem-solving skills are the ability to identify and solve problems creatively and efficiently. This includes thinking critically, developing new ideas or solutions, and troubleshooting issues as they arise.
Problem-solving is a critical skill for professionals and business owners to possess. An example of excellent problem-solving can be seen among nurses in the medical field. By quickly assessing patient needs, identifying available resources, and providing tailored solutions, nurses ensure that the needs of their patients are met effectively and efficiently.
It’s this fastidiousness that makes problem-solving such a valuable asset in any professional setting. With keen insight into requirements and ability to access tools and resources, finding quality solutions to seemingly insurmountable issues can be accomplished without issue.
Employers value employees who can quickly and efficiently solve problems without constant supervision.
Flexibility is the ability to adapt to changing circumstances or demands. This includes being open-minded, willing to try new things, and comfortable with change. Employers value flexible and adaptable employees as they are more likely to succeed in a constantly changing work environment.
5. Conflict Resolution
Conflict resolution skills are the ability to resolve disagreements or differences of opinion constructively and effectively. This includes mediating between two parties, negotiating terms of the agreement, and finding common ground between opposing sides. Employers value employees who can resolve conflicts without escalation.
6. Self-management skills
Having well-developed self-management skills is an important part of succeeding in the workplace. It lets you focus on what needs to be done with less stress and more productivity.
For example, honing your time management skills can help ensure that deadlines are met, while organization skills can save you effort and minimize mistakes in projects. Moreover, positive self-motivation can go a long way to boosting your professional performance, giving both yourself and your team the encouragement they need to reach their goals.
7. Computer skills
In today’s highly technological world, employers need employees who possess computer skills to carry out their job responsibilities. It is often difficult to succeed without having some knowledge of the computer basics that are so largely relied on.
Such skills often include familiarity with programs like Microsoft Office and navigating the Internet. Having example computer abilities such as these are invaluable in so many facets of a job and can be the difference between success and failure in the professional workplace.
Enhancing one’s computer skills can prove beneficial beyond employment opportunities, giving an edge over others in whatever field one intends to pursue.
8. Critical Thinking
In today’s competitive job landscape, critical thinking is another skill for employees. Not only does it encourage employees to evaluate arguments, conclude from evidence, and examine assumptions critically, but it also requires problem-solving, creativity, and the ability to develop new ideas to respond to complex situations.
Employers value these qualities in their hires because workers with good critical thinking skills are more likely to succeed in any type of work environment.
For example, assessing a situation and coming up with creative solutions quickly is invaluable when working on challenging projects requiring high levels of creativity and innovation. With strong critical thinking skills, employees are better equipped to make critical decisions confidently, knowing they have assessed all angles before taking action.
Employers increasingly recognize the value of creativity in the workplace. Critical thinking, problem-solving, brainstorming, and team-building, to name a few example skills, depend on employees thinking outside the box.
This is because innovation and new ideas are key in helping businesses stay competitive in an ever-evolving market. Those who can cultivate and practice their creativity are invaluable in today’s workplace as they can catapult a company to greater success.
10. Time Management
Being able to manage your time is a crucial skill in the workplace. When you properly allocate time to your projects, you can ensure that everything is done on schedule and avoid unnecessary stressors.
For example, at the start of each week, try making a list of priorities with their corresponding deadlines. This will help streamline your workflow, as ticking these items off your list fosters a feeling of accomplishment that further motivates you throughout the day.
Good time management leads to greater productivity and concentration on the task, making it an essential approach to success in any field.
11. Emotional intelligence
Research has shown that those with higher emotional intelligence reduce company turnover, result in better academic performance and create happier workplace environments. It also benefits organizations financially by increasing efficiency and creating a more successful team environment.
For example, employees who possess emotional intelligence are better able to work through conflict among themselves or with other departments but can still maintain healthy relationships – this breeds an atmosphere of collaboration and trust within any organization.
At this point, it makes sense for you to understand how to discover your strengths before we dive into the next set of skills that employers love to see in the employees!
Top 11 Hard Skills in Employees that Employers Desire
Here are some hard skills employers look for:
1. Analytical skills
Analytical skills are critical for success in the modern world. Looking at information and drawing conclusions based on evidence can go a long way toward effective problem-solving.
For example, data collected from scientific studies can help to develop reliable theories about our physical world. Also, analyzing financial documents can give insights into a business’s health or predicting upcoming stock market trends.
Developing strong analytical skills will open many doors for individuals looking to make an impact in their fields and gain greater knowledge of their surroundings.
2. Technical Literacy
Technical literacy skills are highly valued among employers and have become increasingly important in the modern workforce.
Examples of essential technical literacy skills include operating computers to perform tasks such as word processing, spreadsheet creation, and browser navigation.
However, it is more than just the use of technology – it is the ability to troubleshoot if there is a problem, evaluate technological solutions available to a company, and make strategic application decisions that add value.
3. Presentation Skills
Presentation Skills are a key hard skill employers look for when recruiting new candidates. Presenting ideas in a clear and impactful manner is an invaluable tool when it comes to landing a job, project, or promotion. Knowing how to polish ideas and hold the audience’s attention translates into the kinds of assurance and confidence employers expect from an applicant.
A good example is the ability to anticipate questions from the crowd and provide sound answers calmly – demonstrating thought process prowess and efficient problem solving capabilities. In today’s competitive world, having presentation skills is one of the surest ways to set yourself on track for career success.
Writing is an invaluable tool in the workforce because it helps to communicate, document, and share knowledge more effectively. A competent writer can communicate information credibly and succinctly, creating a more efficient working environment.
For instance, being able to write sound memos or reports quickly can save employers precious time since they won’t have to worry about communicating essential points accurately or looking for errors and inconsistencies.
Possessing marketing skills can equip job seekers with essential knowledge, enabling them to take on various responsibilities in a quicker time frame.
Marketing skills provide an example of qualities that employers seek – from digital advertising to understanding consumer behavior and analyzing trends and engagement; there are many areas that teams need to specialize in for success.
Being well-versed in any combination of these marketing techniques is highly valued and can greatly enhance a person’s ability to secure the position.
6. Customer service skills
Customer service skills are invaluable to both the workplace and the customer. There is no denying that they are a key hard skill that employers look for when considering candidates for open positions.
For example, high-level customer service skills demonstrate an individual’s ability to remain organized while addressing issues, read a situation quickly and accurately, and take ownership of the conversation until a resolution is achieved.
Effective communication allows customers to feel heard and respected—ultimately making good customer service an integral factor in cultivating loyalty within an organization.
7. Project management skills
Projects are the lifeblood of nearly all organizations. Those who understand how to break them down into achievable tasks, manage resources and lead teams toward successful outcomes are invaluable assets.
As an example, if you demonstrate your capability for streamlining processes and improving efficiency or customer satisfaction rates in previous roles, you can set yourself apart from other candidates.
Employers want to see that you can plan complex projects from start to finish, possess good judgment, avoid common pitfalls and ensure that objectives are met on time and within budget.
Suppose you possess these skills and can communicate them effectively on your resume or during an interview. In that case, you will put yourself in a great position when seeking new opportunities.
8. Graphic designing skills
A quality graphic designer understands the importance of technical skills, aesthetic judgment, and customer service. Examples of hard skills include expertise in several software programs used to create graphics, like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.
Employers also prioritize how quickly a designer can turn around a project accurately – an example of a soft skill that enhances productivity. Moreover, creative problem-solving abilities and great communication skills make it much easier for designers to interact with art directors and clients to guarantee satisfactory results.
9. Data analysis
With the increase of data-driven decision-making in many organizations, data analysis skills are invaluable. Employers recognize that this knowledge can give insight into how their company is performing and how they can improve to serve their customers better.
For example, data analysis can provide critical information about customer behaviors and likely future trends in the markets they are a part of. In addition, analyzing data accurately allows businesses to identify areas of improvement or ways to optimize processes for more efficient operations.
10. Mathematical skills
Mathematical skills are hard critical skills that employers assess during their recruitment process. In the current job market, understanding mathematics and strong problem-solving skills are highly sought after.
Employers appreciate mathematical abilities, which will help them assess complex concepts and data.
For example, suppose you can solve equations, identify patterns in data, or statistical research information. In that case, it tells employers that you have an analytical mindset and a keen eye for detail when approaching problems.
11. Cash Management
Cash management is increasingly sought-after hard skill employers seek when recruiting new hires.
This involves budgeting, analyzing cash flow, and monitoring expenses to ensure financial goals are achieved while staying within financial constraints.
Skills like forecasting, planning, and tracking can help businesses maximize resources and make sound financial decisions.
For example, suppose a company has limited funds but needs additional employees for a special project. In that case, the finance team can analyze where those funds should be allocated to provide the most value for their investment.
When can you show the Skills Employers look for?
When you apply and interview for any job, you will get many opportunities to showcase these skills in employees that employers dearly want to see.
Let us divide it into 2 stages.
1. In Your Resume
Since your resume is essentially your first communication with your future employer, you want to use it as your first opportunity to show your skills.
Skills essentially will show in different parts of your resume. So take you time to read these carefully selected articles for you.
7 Articles to help you Show your Skills in your Resume Impactfully
2. During Interviews
Interviews are when you get a much stronger opportunity to demonstrate your skills. You are using questions from the interviewers to position yourself as the right candidate for the job. Let us see which interview questions are key for you.
7 Interview Questions that help you Demonstrate your Skills to the Employers
What should you do next?
Your resume gets you in the door, but your skills will get you the job.
This list of 22 skills in employees that employers look for, is not exhaustive but rather a foundational guide to help you assess your skill set and compare it to what employers are looking for.
If you find yourself lacking in any of these areas, don’t fret! These are all skills that can be learned and improved upon with time and practice. And who knows, once you’ve got them down pat, they may just become some of your favorite things about your job.